Arrival (2016)

The notion of a film about communicating with aliens–though we’ve at least had Contact–intrigued me distinctly. The idea came through in the trailers for certain, and I considered watching it theatrically a number of times, but felt that, as large a movie as it was, the spark of the unusual wasn’t strong enough to pull me […]

Read More Arrival (2016)

L’armée des ombres [The Army of Shadows] (1969)

My streak of purism inevitably encourages me to seek out, even where difficult to find, obtuse, or otherwise unhelpful, the original posters for films when I write these reviews. L’armée des ombres was not easy to find, leading to this photo of an actual copy from somewhere. Probably. The film came out at an inopportune time–the French […]

Read More L’armée des ombres [The Army of Shadows] (1969)

Ali [Director’s Cut] (2001)

Probably the simplest first point to make is this: I never saw the theatrical cut of Ali. It is my habit, though, to acknowledge the cut of the film I watch if it is something other than the one most would (presumably) have seen, as I think it’s important and relevant to address the actual and specific […]

Read More Ali [Director’s Cut] (2001)

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

It’s like riding a bicycle apparently,¹ though not very complicated to be sure. The weekend was ending, and I’d managed to corral my other interests (comics, primarily!), only to find myself with a mere hour or so before I’d intended on crawling into bed for the upcoming work week. My original plan (Melville’s L’armée des ombres) […]

Read More A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Atlantic City (1980)

Defiance of expectation. I’d say that’s the basis of appreciation of a piece of art, but there’s too much to be found in satisfaction of expectation. Still, it’s the basis for a kind of appreciation, naturally the more surprising variety, or at least unexpected. All of us go in to movies or music with the […]

Read More Atlantic City (1980)

An Education (2009)

I had two free passes to the local arthouse styled theatre that were running out Monday, so I decided to go see whatever the heck was showing. One film was House of the Devil, a throwback horror film that I truly loved, the other was a film that I thought sounded like the kind I […]

Read More An Education (2009)

American Beauty (1999)

I've seen seven Best Picture winners in theatres before they actually won, but this is the one that was at a point where I was starting pay attention to movies yet still didn't care, worry or know enough about the politics of them to wonder or debate whether they might become Best Picture winners. I […]

Read More American Beauty (1999)

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

The Beatles become a more and more curious subject as time goes on, especially in the circles I run in. I grew up listening to them, and never thought a thing of judging their music. I always liked it, which is no surprise if one knows that the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine is one […]

Read More A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Arthur (1981)

There’s something a bit off in the fact that many of us now reaching (or just past reaching, or whatever you may call it) adulthood often know films more by the parodies and references that followed them (or, often worse, their imitators!) than by the films themselves. I do recall the parody of Arthur that […]

Read More Arthur (1981)

Amistad (1997)

I normally start a Steven Spielberg review by discussing the asinine attitude that has developed around him–either hero worship or envious/rebellious denigration. I’ve done that though, so for those unaware, let me strike my stance as follows: Spielberg is an excellent director who is typically overrated a bit too much by his biggest fans and […]

Read More Amistad (1997)